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  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering puts Watson to use to aid cancer treatment decisions

    Memorial SloanKettering puts Watson to use to aid cancer treatment decisions

    We heard almost a year ago that Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center had turned to IBM’s Watson as a tool to help doctors provide the best cancer treatment recommendations, and it looks like those plans are now starting to be put into practice. IBM, along with WellPoint, Inc. and Memorial Sloan-Kettering, have today announced what they describe as the “first commercially developed Watson-based cognitive computing breakthroughs.” More specifically, they’ve developed a system that allows Waston to draw on a wealth of medical information and quickly provide evidence-based treatment recommendations to doctors.

    And we do mean a wealth of information; as IBM explains, Watson has spent the last year digesting more than 600,000 pieces of medical evidence and two million pages of text from 42 medical journals, and it has the ability to parse some 1.5 million patient records covering decades of cancer treatment history. That all takes the form of two separate “Watson-based” products to start with, one of which IBM expects to be used by more 1,600 providers by the end of this year. You can find more details on those at the source links, and get a more general overview of the project in the video after the break from IBM.

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    Source: IBM, Smarter Planet Blog

  • Editorial: Nintendo’s digital content problem and how the Wii U is making things worse

    The Wii U’s launch was a bit rocky, to say the least. Missing features, promised TV services and slow-loading, day-one firmware updates left Nintendo fans frustrated and disappointed. The company is still cleaning up the mess too, announcing that it will push two additional software updates to fix the console’s slogging load times. A quicker console will certainly be welcome, but the Wii U spring updates are missing an opportunity to close a rift that divides Nintendo from its loving customer base: how it handles digital content ownership.

    Ever buy an Xbox Live game? You probably know that purchase is tied to your Xbox Live account, and will be available on any subsequent Xbox you purchase. Not in Nintendo’s world; Kyoto’s digital sales are tied to the gaming hardware, not the user’s account. It’s been a sore spot for Nintendo gamers for some time now, and the Wii U was the company’s chance to make amends — except it didn’t. Like its predecessors, the new console locks content to the device it was originally purchased on, imprisoning digital purchases in a physical cage. The Wii U takes content confinement a step further with its support for legacy software, providing a near-perfect example of the folly of Nintendo’s content ownership philosophy: the isolated sandbox of its backwards-compatible Wii Menu.

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  • Editor’s Letter: When the rubber hits the road

    In each issue of Distro, editor-in-chief Tim Stevens publishes a wrap-up of the week in news.

    Editor's Letter BlackBerry takes over

    The time for talk and for analysis has come to a close. The BlackBerry company’s first phone hit the market in earnest and now we wait and see how the market reacts. According to BlackBerry itself, initial indications are just fine. While the company followed in the footsteps of Amazon and Microsoft and refused to give solid numbers (probably wisely), it did say that sales for the Canadian release were 50 percent stronger than any of the company’s previous launches there. In the UK things looked even better, with sales 300 percent greater than any previous BlackBerry release.

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